Make classrooms friendly for children with ADHD
A child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) will have difficulties in paying attention, will be hyperactive and impulsive. So when you have a child with ADHD in your classroom, the teacher needs to put in some extra effort. A good teacher will understand the child’s disability and reach out to them when they need them.
Teachers must make sure that a child with ADHD does not undergo abuse or trauma in the classroom. There are many children with ADHD for whom classes are a nightmare just because they are unable to deal with lessons! That is when a good teacher must come into the picture and become a true saviour.
Most important thing is that teachers must be aware of disabilities. Since there is always a social stigma attached to disabilities, children would have undergone numerous problems. They must know where the child comes from and different ways to reach out to them. For instance, some children might make a lot of problems inside the classroom because they are scared of noises. So unless the teacher knows all this, they cannot help a child with ADHD. Focus on the strengths of the child. Otherwise, education becomes a disaster for them. If it is an inclusive classroom, children without disabilities must also be sensitized- Jolly Johnson, Co-founder, Helping Hands
Do you have a student with ADHD in your class? Here are a few tips to be a great teacher to a child with ADHD
- Giving them space to learn- Every child is unique in their own ways. Hence, their style of learning is also different. Ensure that you give the child the space that they need. For instance, some children prefer being read out loud while some others choose to learn by writing things down. Since ADHD is a learning disability, the teacher plays an important role in reaching out to a child. One of the best ways to help a child with ADHD is to make classes interactive. Since a child with ADHD is hyperactive, they enjoy interactive sessions.
- Appreciate creativity- Even though a child with ADHD has difficulty in learning, their creative side will always be at its best. Hence, the teacher must appreciate their skills and talents. This helps the child in many ways. Some children might be great at drawing while some others can express their thoughts through poems and stories. Try and tell them how their work is brilliant. You can see that smile on their faces!
- Do not talk about their disability- This goes without a say! There are many schools where children with ADHD have to undergo bullying and other problems. Make sure that you support the child and never talk about their disability. For instance, a child with ADHD might fidget a lot. Never ask them about it or bring it up inside a classroom.
- Caring- A good teacher is not just about teaching students lessons. They are also great friends who care! A good teacher always ensures that their student is taken care of well. They experiment with different ways of teaching to ensure that children are thoroughly enjoying classes. There might be children with and without disabilities inside a class. A good teacher must ensure that all of them are treated equally and cared well.
Shiny Vinson is the Principal of Navajeevan special school in Kochi.
“We have an eight year old child with ADHD in our school. He was denied admission in all schools before joining with us. He used to create a lot of problems. But once he came to us, we made him understand that he is going to stay with us, no matter what. Now, he is one of the happiest children in our school because we ensure that he is given his space, love and care. In order to make education good for children with ADHD, parent must also co-ordinate with teachers”, says Shiny.